Free and centrosome-attached microtubules - Quantitative analysis and the modeling of two-component system

K. M. Smurova, I. B. Alieva, I. A. Vorobjev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In the internal cytoplasm of interphase cells the density of microtubules is the highest in the centrosome area and decreases to the cell periphery. As a rule, the quantity of fluorescent microtubules cannot be counted up in the internal cytoplasm, but it is possible to estimate microtubules quantity using measuring of their optical density. In living 3T3 and CHO cells the microtubules optical density decreased according to different mathematical dependences that apparently reflected the differences of their microtubule system organization. To determine appropriateness that circumscribe the reduction of microtubules optical density from the centrosome region to the direction of cell margin, we modeled cell contours with the certain ratio and interposition of centrosome-attached and free microtubules in vector schedules CorelDraw program. The decrease of optical density was analyzed in MetaMorph program as it was described earlier (Smurova et al., 2002). It was shown that fluorescent microtubules optical density decreased exponentially (y = ae-bx) if the system joined only microtubules growing from the centrosome up to the cell margin. The curve became smoother in the case of not all radial centrosome-attached microtubules reached the margin, and adding of free microtubules into the system led to the sharp fall in optical density in the centrosome area and to its gradual decrease at the cell periphery. The increase in free microtubules quantity changed the character of the curve describing the reduction of optical density microtubule system which included free and centrosome-attached microtubules in proportions of 5 : 1 was described by the equation of linear regression (f= k·x + b). Thus, the mathematical dependence describing the microtubules distribution from the centrosome to the cell periphery, depends on the ratio of microtubules and their relative positioning in the cell volume. The data obtained using model systems have coincided with the results of experiments. The graphs which described the increase in microtubules optical density during microtubule repolymerization after nocodazole treatment, corresponded to the graphs for model cells. Thus, the method we used allows to analyze the microtubule system in the cases when the direct observation of individual microtubules is difficult.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-279
Number of pages10
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 6 2007


  • Centrosome
  • Centrosome-attached microtubules
  • Free microtubules
  • Video microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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